As we embark on 2015, what I continue to hear is this will be the year of manifestation. How that applies to you depends on what things you planted in 2014. However, I don't think it's too late to be able to receive the manifestation, the harvest in the new year.
How can you do that? It is said that it takes about 21 days for something to become a habit. I would suggest that you challenge yourself for the first 21 days of January to help kick start your goals; whether they are spiritual, financial or physical. There are many ways to do this. Let me suggest a few.
1. Spiritual 21 day Challenge - I was just looking at my Bible through the year on my smartphone. I saw there is a 21 day Bible challenge. Why not look of some Bible plans (Bible Gateway has on online one) either on your phone or do your own. For the first 21 days of January prepare yourself for success. While someone reading this may not be a Christian so you may not see the importance of this, however I think it is a good idea to really look at yourself; good and bad to help prepare yourself for the success you are seeking in your life. As a Christian, my go to resource is my Bible. What things do you need to work on? What emotional areas need help? What hurts, or brokenness needs healing? Somethings we don't know because they are hidden and we need help having them revealed to us. You may be thinking what does this have to be with weight loss? It means a lot for many people. If a person has hidden areas of hurt, bitterness and brokenness, these areas can be a hindrance to successfully losing and keeping weight off. Some people handle stresses in life through those broken areas with food, others with drugs or drink, or other unhealthy ways which are not good for your body or wellness of your life in general.
2. 21 Day Financial Challenge - I mentioned the spiritual challenge first because sometimes if we are not whole spiritually or emotionally it effects the other things we do, one of those areas is our finances. If we are honest with ourselves, how many of us have shopped to ease our hurts, disappointments or depression. We spent money we didn't have to only find that temporary high replaced with anxiety because we find ourselves unable to pay our bills and we are watching that work havoc on our finances. I know, I've been there and still working my way out of that. So for the first 21 days of January, I suggest you take an honest look at what you have. Write down all your outgoing expenses as well as what those balances are on your credit cards. Then on your spread sheet write down what you actually bring in. It might be a little depressing at first, when you see that you are spending more than you make. Some may be pleased to see you do have enough to pay your bills, however you just haven't been using that money wisely. Wherever you stand, prepare to do some cutting. Just as you may have needed to cut some emotional baggage from your life, you may need to cut somethings from your financial life. I was once $1,000 short every month. I looked at what I was spending. I began calling all my creditors and renegotiating my payments. Some I cut services, others were willing to lower my monthly bill while allowing me to keep the same services. When I was done, I was able to cut out over $900 in my monthly expenses. What things do you need to do to get your finances on track for the next 21 days? Your goals should be to begin saving something. We all need to have at least 3-6 months of our income for emergency purposes. We need to began to cut back so we are living on only 80% of our income (10% for tithes and 10% for savings). My goal is to get that even lower with an additional 10% for long term goals/personal items. I'm not there yet, but if I never have a plan I'll never get there. My plan for 2015 is to work on getting rid of all credit card debt. I was able to completely pay of some in 2014, the goal is to aggressively attack the rest. I will be debt free and I'm living that plan out.
3. 21 Day Physical Challenge - I left this last on purpose. I tend to believe the extra weight we carry is more a symptom of some other underlying causes. If we don't look at our emotional health as well as to make sure there are no medical reasons in our lives, we really will find ourselves on a diet roller coaster. We'll lose some weight, get happy with the results stop our diets and go back to the same lifestyle. What will happen? We will find ourselves in the same places and sometimes even gaining more than we lost. So how do we get off this roller coaster? First I have to say I am not against a person using what they need to get the weight off. If you need to join a Jenny Craig or Weight Watchers to keep you accountable, do it, it's for you. Don't worry about what people say, "Oh you didn't lose the weight you had help." That had to be the craziest thing I ever heard someone say to me regarding people using weight loss services. So what if you had help, who doesn't need help? If you go to the gym and get a trainer, that's help. If you join a support group to keep each other accountable, that's help. Get whatever you need to make sure you will be successful. Now, I do understand people need to be careful with the claims of take a pill, don't change anything in your life and you'll lose 50 pounds in 2 months. Yes, we want to use wisdom with whatever you decide to use to help you. I suggest taking supplements to your doctor to ask him or her if they are safe for you. Do your homework.
Now the key is, you still have to do the work no matter what help you get. Many don't know where to start. How about trying to take baby steps. For the first 21 days of January try increasing whatever you do. If you don't do anything, then try working out one or two days a week. Walking, low impact aerobics, some of the challenges you see on Black Women do Work out. When I started my journey in 2013 I printed off some of the different challenges and used those. Find something you will do and do it for the next 21 days. If you already work out, then try increase the weights you use. To build your muscles you will have to use heavier weights. You may cut the repetitions, but increase the weights. So if you are doing 15 reps of a arm movement with a one pound weight. Go to 3 or 5 pounds and start by doing 10 reps. As you are able then increase them to 15. And when those weights get easy move to 8 or 10.
4. 21 Day Eating Challenge - This has to go along with the physical challenge, otherwise you are really wasting your time. Do not think of this as a diet, because it isn't. This is a life change. If you don't think about your eating as a way of life, it really won't work for long. For the next 21 days, try changing how you eat. If you don't eat many vegetables, try for example eating 1 or 2 vegetables with every meal. The way to get veggies in for breakfast is add some vegetables to an egg scramble or omelet. Or add veggies in your smoothies. Also try cutting out as must junk food as possible. We love our chips, cookies, etc. But for the next 21 days, try eliminating pop (soda, depending where you live), any fast foods, any junk food. Instead drink water, at least 8 cups a day. If you find yourself wanting some "junk" food or something sweet, eat a handful of nuts (or make your own trail mix) or a piece of fruit. The goal for the next 21 days is to try to increase vegetables in your diet (raw are better. You can eat them in a salad). Cutting down on fast foods and junk food. Try cooking at home as much as possible. And increasing your water intake. Try working on those three things and once you have gotten good at that, then challenge yourself to something new. I also suggest that you make sure you are getting enough vitamin supplements. It is nothing wrong with taking vitamins to help make sure your body is as healthy as you can be. I am glad to say I have not bee sick since 1/2013 when I first started this journey. That's saying a lot for me since I use to be sick all the time. Even now, when my family has gotten sick, I was able to nurse them and keep at bay anything from hitting me.
The goal of the 21 day challenge is really to get you thinking and moving in the direction to help you keep your 2015 life goals. So I pray that you are able to obtain the healthy life you are seeking. Remember it doesn't come over night and there will be sometimes you simply want to quit, but don't remember one day at a time and before you know it every area of your life will be a lot healthier because you refused to quit. Until next time, remember to W.I.N. in Health.
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